Five-year-old Tommy (Anthony Wilson) witnesses the murder of tough but kindly policeman ‘Mr Kool’ (Ed Bernard) – a well-respected and admired figure in the community – and is rendered mute by the shock.
Tommy’s teenage brother HJ (15-year-old Ahmad Nurradin in his first professional acting job) is the leader of a gang called ‘The Dudes’ and considered the cop a mentor. HJ realises his sibling will be targeted soon and – not wanting to worry their grandmother, Mama Wes (Frances Williams) – doesn’t tell her the real reason for Tommy’s silence.
The next morning they take Tommy to the health clinic for treatment. There, Dr Johnson (Glynn Turman) explains that Tommy can overcome the traumatic shock, but it will depend on the amount of trust, patience and love he receives.
The funeral for Mr Kool is a sombre event attended by hundreds. Among the mourners are Mr Kool’s widow (Gloria Calomee) and an honour cordon of grim-faced policemen. The soul-searching sermon and service is given by Reverend Brown (played by renowned gospel singer Bessie Griffin).
The cops are frustratingly slow to follow up on leads, so HJ and The Dudes – Monk (Owen Pace), AP (Nelson Sims), Mau Mau (Kenneth Bell) and Gri’ Gri’ (Kim Dorsey) – resolve to try to solve the murder themselves.
The gang is visited at their clubhouse (in an old abandoned train freight warehouse) by Strokes McGee (Mwako Cumbuka), an older dude. With his help, they conclude the only way to get a line on who the killer is will be to get a look at the pictures in Mr Kool’s arrest files.
This can only be done by breaking into the police station. Strokes suggests HJ enlist the help of Vega (Richard Yniguez), a rival gang leader who knows the ins and outs of the station better than the police.
HJ and Vega plan for a mock fight to be staged between blacks and Chicanos as a means of drawing most of the police away from the station. They then sneak into the station and get Kool’s files.
The ruse works, and within minutes they are back out in the street and going their separate ways.
At the clubhouse, HJ discovers the records have no mugshots, preventing Tommy from identifying the killer’s picture. He assigns each of the gang members one suspect to check out, taking the youngsters into numerous dangerous situations.
The first solid tip comes from HJ’s girlfriend Francine (Angela Gibbs), who tells him about two homosexuals, Billy Most (Lincoln Kilpatrick) and Maria (Craig Campfield).
The information incriminates Billy Most and takes HJ and the gang to Maria’s apartment, where they discover Maria hanged.
Returning to the clubhouse, they discover Francine has also been killed, and Tommy is missing.
They track Tommy and Billy Most to the pier giving Tommy a chance to escape.
Billy Most suddenly breaks down and cries. It’s a pathetic sight as the police arrive and take a sobbing Billy Most into custody.
A low-budget Blaxploitation offering, Together Brothers was filmed entirely on location in Galveston, Texas. The soundtrack by Barry White and his Love Unlimited Orchestra is arguably more famous than the movie.
Frances E. Williams
Rev Mary Healing Brown
William A. Graham